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Serendipity Blog CMS Review April 13, 2012

The Serendipity blogging CMS offers a lot more than what meets the eye. A blog interface with no “pages” (by default) might seem basic to some, but in reality Serendipity offers both the casual blogger as well as seasoned veterans an interface that can be optimized aesthetically as well as for search engines.

Let’s start with the basics; going through the major components that any blogger would want customized and demonstrate how Serendipity allows users the ability to update the look and feel of their blog.

serendipity

Themes

Every blogger (or business!) wants a unique theme for their website to make it apart from other sites. Serendipity publicly offers over 80 templates, over 20 of which appear by default on the “Manage Styles” screen within the interface. Other templates can be found at the Serendipity Templates Download Center and can be searched by tags to find the style and colore theme that you’re looking for.

For the more advanced user, Serendipity offers “Smarty Templates”; templates that offer custom fields, specific plugins and modifiers, and offer options to allow for modification of PHP code. Serendipity is known for its simple and clean PHP code, which makes things easy for beginners but also allows coders and programmers the ability to make complex changes without much difficulty.

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Plugins

Serendipity offers users a plugin/repository manager called “Spartacus”. Once downloaded, Spartacus allows users to simply search and manage all external plugins on Serendipity without having to put changes into effect using an FTP. The Spartacus platform was changed and updated in December of 2011.

The Spartacus plugin is still considered an “experimental” plugin, so users might find some difficulties using it, such as slow or unresponsive searches, and directory privilege changes that still might need to be modified manually.

The thing that makes Serendipity blogs so convenient is that many sidebar plugins are automatically downloaded into the admin interface. If you don’t want the pre-downloaded plugins, it’s a simple command of dragging them off the sidebar in the admin “Configure Plugins” view screen.

Content

The content features for Serendipity are as follows:

• The blog post editing interface offers a WYSIWYG editor as well as a HTML editor.
• Browsable image/media manager and a easy to use image uploading tool.
• Automated comment moderation based on the content contained within blog comments.
• Dynamically managed caching, advanced URL rewriting rules, and customizable permalink structures.
• Serendipity supports XHTML 1.1, CSS 2.0, RSS 0.93, 1.0, and 2.0, Atom 0.3 and 1.0.

The Serendipity website claims no hacks or problems during upgrades and boasts about their central plugin repository. They note these claims as reasons to choose Serendipity over the popular and widely used blog content management system, WordPress.

Serendipity offers bloggers everything they could want from a content management system. While the user interface is simple and plain, it gets the job done. What do you think?

Nick Cuttonaro

Nicholas Cuttonaro is an Internet Marketing professional specializing in search engine optimization, lead generation, and online reputation management.

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